Oatmeal Popovers

I wanted to make something out of the ordinary for breakfast on Valentine’s Day, and these little popovers certainly fit the bill. I’ve only made popovers once before, and although I think they turned out just how they were supposed to, we were largely indifferent to them. Maybe it is because we didn’t grow up eating them, but they seemed like an odd sort of breakfast and an equally odd sort of dinner roll, all hollow and eggy. Molly’s description of Marion Cunningham’s oatmeal version sounded a bit more like us, though—less eggy and more rustic—so while my husband was out jogging in the rain, I whisked up the batter and got the oven heating.

Sure enough, the oatmeal in these popovers prevented them from rising quite so impressively, and most of them only had small pockets. They were, however, light and homey, and we ate them up with cups of tea, slathered in melting honey butter.

I actually found this recipe much more versatile than the classic popover recipe I made before. I kept imagining them perfumed with cinnamon and nutmeg, stuffed with apple compote, homemade jam, or Nutella. The recommended marmalade would have been an excellent option, but a dollop of Meyer lemon curd was also lovely, and I can’t help but wonder what they would be like sweetened with a splash of maple. Their heartiness would also lend them perfectly to a savory bent like garlic and herbs, a thought that I plan to return to next time I reach for a biscuit recipe.

Oatmeal Popovers

2 large eggs
1 C whole milk
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C rolled oats, coarsely ground in a food process or blender 
1/2 tsp salt
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T vegetable or coconut oil, for the pan
Orange marmalade, for serving (optional)

In a batter bowl or 4C measuring bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until well combined, about 20 seconds. Whisk in the flour, oats, and salt just until the flour is incorporated; the mixture will still be lumpy. Add the melted butter, and whisk until the batter is smooth, about 30 seconds. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, allowing the batter to rest and come up to room temperature. Alternately, place all ingredients in a blender and whiz it up until homogeneous, then allow to rest for 30 minutes.

While the batter rests, put 1/2 teaspoon oil into each cup of a popover pan or 9-10 wells of a regular muffin pan. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, place the pan in the oven, and preheat to 450F. After the batter has rested, remove the hot pan from the oven and, working quickly, distribute the batter evenly among the wells. Return the pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes – DO NOT open the oven door. Lower the heat to 350F, and bake until evenly golden brown, about 10-15 minutes more. Remove the popovers from the pan and cool for 2 to 3 minutes before eating. Yields 6-10 popovers.

Source: The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham, via Orangette.

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